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Jethro Tull

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Jethro Tull Aqualung Live album cover
3.47 | 105 ratings | 14 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Aqualung (7:56)
2. Cross-Eyed Mary (4:34)
3. Cheap Day Return (1:43)
4. Mother Goose (5:39)
5. Wond'ring Aloud (2:00)
6. Up To Me (3:35)
7. My God (8:27)
8. Hymn 43 (4:22)
9. Slipstream (0:59)
10. Locomotive Breath (5:19)
11. Wind-Up (6:40)

12. Riffs - another monkey (1:27)
13. Recording the original (2:05)
14. Choosing my words with care (1:17)
15. Hummmmmm 43 (0:35)
16. A different kettle of very different fish (1:02)
17. But is it any good? (1:42)

Total Time: 59:22

Line-up / Musicians

- Ian Anderson / vocals, flute, acoustic guitar
- Martin Barre / guitar
- Doane Perry / drums, percussion
- Andrew Giddings / piano, organ, keyboards
- Jonathan Noyce / bass

Releases information

CD R&M / Roadrunner RR 8100-2 (2005)

Thanks to velvetclown for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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Buy JETHRO TULL Aqualung Live Music

JETHRO TULL Aqualung Live ratings distribution

(105 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (35%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

JETHRO TULL Aqualung Live reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by belz
2 stars 2.4/5.0

As much as I am a Jethro Tull fan and enjoyed the original Aqualung, I must say that this one is disappointing and it seems that JT has succombed to the massive-releases commercial hysteria. I just want to be clear: this one is for the money. I just don't see any other interest for them to release that beside money.

That said, the quality of the recording is good, but Anderson realized the difficult task to transform a great progressive theme song like Aqualung into a radio- commercial rock-pop boring piece. Overall, this is not a bad album, but it is really useless and is not even close to the original one and after some listening I realized that one of its main problem is the overwhelming presence of Anderson's voice; back then music was the main thing, now it seems it's the voice... and money!

For collectors or huge fans only. 2.4/5.0

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Of limited interest for the newbie to prog, this live version of such a classic album as Aqualung is certainly quite a pleasure for confirmed Tullheads. One of the interesting thing is that those songs are recorded (at a radio's initiative) by the latest Tull line-up and some of those musos were not even born when the album got its release. One of my best joy has been to compare how those songs done live compare with the original studio version and I can say it is a great success: there were adaptations done here and there, but overall the song remain true to their original spirit. The songs are played in the original sequences of the album and only Cheap Day Return is coupled with my fave Mother Goose (there is a keyboard intervening imitating an accordion for an example of adaptation). Everyone of those songs gets a superb treatment and it is clear now for those that thought so, that there was not one single track weaker than the stronger and rockier ones. Actually this album tends to magnify the beauty of the shorter and more acoustic tracks that might have been over-looked at in the original album. It was a real curiosity to see how My God would translate on to stage, and they do not try to escape the choir parts, but clearly this might be the only slight weakness, but except for that, only good comes out of that radio broadcast. We are also treated to an extended intro of Locomotive Breath but more importantly an exquisite intro-ed Hymn 43 (I always that the track lacked it on the original album).

As bonus to the album, we get the interviews and in between songs banter with the typical Anderson humour. A treat, but like the remastered version of Aqualung or Thick As A Brick, those interviews are a bit of a pain with repeated listening, but nothing that a skip or eject button cannot fix quickly.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars This live representation of the whole album was a good initiative from XM Satellite Radio (one of the two major of the genre in the US). It was also a benefit event : profits generated by the CD were distributed to several non-profit organizations caring for homeless people (it is the second time that Tull does this, first one being with the "Nightcap" album).

The original album is one of my Tull fave (together with "Thick" and "Minstrel". I was quite enthusistic to hear this "remake" some thirty-four years. I must say that the result is rather satisfactory (but in this case I admit that I'm biased).

I really like this live representation. Even the short & accoustic songs which I considered as transition tracks on the original album sounds fresher and better here. Ian's fluting sounds cristal clear and has never been better (IMO). The highlights are "My God" of which an earlier version is available from their live contribution at the Isle Of Wight festival back in ... 1971. This version is far much better. Even the dificult part with the choir is brilliantly interpreted.

"Locomotive" and "Wind-Up" sound also great. The latter being more interesting since it was played very scarcely in its entirety (even during the "Aqualung" tour. Most of the times, it was either played as the intro or as a reprise (but played partially) or placed in a medley of songs.

I even find the interview parts interesting (even if there are some redundancy with Ian's interview on the remastered version of "Aqualung" in which he described extensively - over ten minutes - the genesis of the recording).

Ian's incredible sense of humour is also to be noticed when he says in his last words from the interview called "But Is This Any Good" : "Thanks again for coming and thanks to XM-radio for playing hosts of this quite lamentable indeed atrocious event, but we did our best for you" !

I have rated the original "Aqualung" five stars but since some numbers are not on par with the original (like "Cross-Eyed Mary" and "Mother Goose" as well as the title track) I will rate this one four stars.

This might well be one of last effort from the band (except new compilations or live records); since at the time of reviewing, no specific information is available on their web- site in terms of new material.

The good news (for me) is that their tour is going to stop in Brussels in June and that a Tull concert is something I would not miss at this time of their career (might be their last one, but I hope not). This also closes my Tull's reviews (thirty-five in total).

It was very emotional to travel through their entire work : from "This Was" to this "Aqualung" live. Lots of great albums, some weak ones (only two or three). Thank you very much Mr. Anderson and Mr. Barre and "Chapeau" (French for : I take my hat off for you) for your brilliant work.

Review by The Whistler
4 stars I'm still not sure if I'm one hundred percent qualified to review Aqualung Live. After all, I've only owned it a day...and I've never heard the original...but still, that should not be the point of this album! If it were ONLY about comparison with Aqualung Studio, then it would deserve no more or less than some form of a three star rating: as good as it was, as enjoyable as the material could be, it'd still just be a copy.

But that's not so with Live, and anyone would be a fool to think so. After all, if Tull was capable of one thing, it was kicking ass live. Period. Ian, as he said in the cleverly crafted liner notes, viewed this recording as less a retread and a rethinking of the album at large (Whistler! You're fan-boying again!).

Sorry. Anyway, the final product that is Aqualung Live is, when taken as a live album instead of a re-recorded studio album, pretty damn good. Of course, there are certain limitations with our musicians (more on that later), and, regardless of my haughty opinions, comparison with the original IS inevitable; and of course it can't quite measure up. Not that it exactly tries...

Alright, enough of that. I'll try to be brief, since you (think you) have heard all this before. "Aqualung" is our opener; shortened a little lyrically, but the live version has always been essentially a yummy casing for a delicious Martin Barre solo. He doesn't disappoint; a little more metallic, but that's fine with me.

"Cross-Eyed Mary" is sufficiently angry. Maybe 'cause it's so metal. "Cheap Day Return" is still beautiful, perhaps more so with Ian's breaking voice, even if it stays on a little too long. Never thought I'd say that about "Cheap."

The number I want to talk about is "Mother Goose." Might be my favorite number on the album. It's played essentially by the book (Giddings even comes out with some accordion...unless it's a synth. Sounds tasty either way), until the midsection, when it turns into a folksy instrumental showdown between, well, everyone. Ian puffs out some truly gorgeous flute, and Doane even has a little drum solo, but it's cool! Real cool in fact. It's rhythmic rather than showoffy, the bass is backing him up (unless he's backing up a bass solo?), and it's kept short. Very "Inna Gadda da Vida" that. Er, except the length...

"Wond'ring Aloud" is essentially what it always was: short, dry, pretty. "Up To Me" is colder than before, turned over mostly to Barre's acoustic, except the odd flute/keyboard duel. "My God" is kind of fun, since they actually recreate the gothic flute 'n chant midsection. I guess it's a keyboard of some sort...unless Marty was high or something. Anyway, it works. Fantastic ending too (turn your speakers to you haven't already).

The second number to undergo a huge facelift is "Hymn 43." Arguably the hardest bit on the original, now it's a Celtic jig! A headbangin' one at that. And, what's more, it totally works! They have me sold on "Hymn 43" being a Celtic jig! I guess if anyone could, it'd be Ian...great flute of course. And in the end, it creeps back into the violent rocker, no sin in that.

"Slipstream" might be better with the end chopped off, but was that synth really necessary? Oh well. "Locomotive Breath" seems a little hurried compared to the great stagey lengths it used to take. But, it ain't the last number no more, is it? It's extra bloozy this time, and real good. As usual. Our new finisher "Wind Up" is either more or less energetic; I mean, Ian and Martin rip it up, but Doane and Noyce can't compare with, uh, you-know-who.

Now wait, you say, where's my Ian banter? Well, all those cleverly named tracks stockpile at the end are just that! You can look at 'em yourself. They're at the end so that you don't HAVE to listen to 'em if you don't want, but they are kind of cute (or whacky or wryly humorous); "Riffs: Another Monkey" and "Hummmm 43" are probably my favorites. And, some more Zep Leppelin trivia. Oh, what the hell, they're all great! From a diehard point of view, of course...

So, here we are at the end of yet another live Tuller album. And, how's it stack up? Not so bad. Just like any of the others, there's some surprises, some stage retools, some witticisms, some breathtakingly beautiful flute riffage, some blisteringly heavy Barre-tar. A drum solo...

One thing I'm happy with is that this sounds like a live album; remember, it's Aqualung LIVE. If I just wanted the Aqualung part, well, I've already got a warehouse full of that what with all the compilations. But on this sucker we also get the all the stage trips and rebounds, the audience sounds and gentle mix of musicians.

And, what about those musicians? Well, Ian and Martin are in top form. As usual. Marty jumps back and forth between his patented heavy blues and classical folk. Ian does likewise, just on a flute this time. And it's really his show, of course; and his voice is actually not bad, all things considered. I mean, it's not like the great old days, but still, I think I mentioned somewhere up there that the breaking vocals sometimes add to the acoustic numbers.

The new guys? Well, I always said that Andy Giddings was the best guy they had on the 'boards since John Evan, he's great. This Jonathon Noyce fella doesn't do anything offensive. Or spectacular. And what of Doane Perry, my ancient nemesis? Well, he's...okay. Maybe even better. A little. At least, when he sticks to (how can I say this politely) dumbed down drum riffs...excuse me, SUBTLE drum riffs, he churns 'em out pretty good. A little class with the acoustic percussion even.

From the diehard point of view, this is essential. ESSENTIAL. I mean, how many other versions of "Hymn 43" as an Irish dance are you gonna get? many other versions of "Hymn 43" ARE you gonna get? Legally, of course. But, even from the point of view of a standard issue Tull fan, I think it's a little better than the standard issue "good, but not essential."

Especially if you liked that Aqualung thing. In fact, it's a lot like that, only different!

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Aqualung Live is the entire content of the original masterpiece Aqualung played as a radio performance and it absolutely rocks but is nowhere near the original. Every track is given a fresh approach and is notably reinvented on many occasions in the only way Anderson knows how. He sings at times with indifference and he splurts through his flute, and loses it completely at one stage. But it is very entertaining and, although fans would know every track by heart, the new approach is refreshing.

As I said on the original Aqualung review , the Aqualung riff is one of the best in rock history and is given a full blown treatment on this live rendition. Anderson spits out the lyrics: "snot running down his nose, greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes... feeling like a dead duck, spitting out pieces of his broken luck". The driving erratic rock riffage is broken by an acoustic interlude "sun streaking cold the old man wanders lonely taking time the only way he knows..." and then we have the rocked up section, "do you still remember December's foggy breeze...." and then Martin Barre's awesome lead break screams in the same fashion as the original although this version has a lengthy section that works well.

The rest of the performance features all the classic Aqualung tracks we have grown to love over the years. Cross Eyed Mary is similar in content with its chaotic pentameter and time signature, flute and guitar are perfectly juxtaposed. Even Anderson admits to the audience that some of these tracks are rather as "strange as I remembered it." The tracks that run for less than a minute are a perfect example and it is rather weird to hear these updated versions. The best tracks are of course My God, Hymn 43, Mother Goose and great overblown tracks such as Locomotive Breath which became a single and ripped up the charts. The original album is one of the most popular Tull, and the band have played it in its entirety many times even before this radio performance. The bonus tracks are interesting snippets of information about the album. Anderson said emphatically it's not a concept album, "just a bunch of songs", but we fans know better don't we? Overblown concept albums are a Tull trademark and here it sits. Anderson talks about the riff for Aqualung - Anderson states the riff was based on Beethoven's classic dadada duuuuum, dadada duuuuuuuuum symphony and this makes a lot of sense. The interview stuff is only worth hearing once but it's nice to learn all this from the horse's mouth so to speak.

In conclusion, I guess there is no replacing the original, but this live version of the classic is a pleasant surprise and recommended as a complimentary work, rather than a substitute, to the original masterpiece.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I own this rare edition of Aqualung Live. What can I say - I am not hard Jethro Tull fan, so may be I am looking on this release more as regular listener.

Fisrt of all , it is a collection of strong songs, and it's a big benefit of this album. Yes, all of them are well known, but all of them sound slightly different. And it is not re-release or "The Best of ..." type collection.It's new recordings from original musicians.

Again, it sounds a little bit more commercial, shorter, more acceptable for wide audience. Don't think it's a good difference.

Worst thing for me is second (non-musical ) part of the CD. Yes, die-hard fans can listen it, even may be a few times (during all their life), but what for it is for regular listener?

All in all - good album with some weak points.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Aqualung Live" is a live album by UK progressive/folk rock act Jethro Tull. The album was released through RandM Records/Fuel 2000 Records in the UK in September 2005 and in the US in March 2006. "Aqualung Live" was recorded for a radio broadcast show in front of a select crowd of about 40 fans who had won the tickets for the show on Jethro Tullīs homepage. As the name says it is a live recording of the full "Aqualung (1971)" album. An album thatīs widely considered a classic in the bandīs discography (and probably in rock music in general). When I purchased the album I initially thought it was a forgotten live recording from 1971, but that is certainly not the case. As bandleader Ian Anderson says in the booklet, most of the 2005 band, who recorded "Aqualung Live", were in their infancy or not even born yet when Aqualung was released.

While I consider the original album one of the greatest albums in Jethro Tullīs discography, these live version sound a bit tired and uninspired to me. Itīs a well played, pretty well produced and well performed (Ianīs vocals are not as strong as they used to be though) album, but the issue is probably that these live versions of the tracks donīt add much to the originals and I suspect that live shows from back in the day were more energetic and featured an edge that is completely lacking here. This is not a bad album by any means it just doesnīt impress me as much as I had hoped it would. A 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is warranted.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars How Tull are You?

Well, who does not know Jethro Tull the Scottish band? If you declare yourself as a progrock fan you must have known the band long time ago. The were established end of the 60s and I find it still enjoyable listening to their very old album like "Benefits" or "This Was". In 1971, they released Aqualung, which most people (music critics) say it's a sardonic rant on organized religion or something like that. There was tremendous change in their musical style but their roots were still there in Aqualung. But we recognize the music of Tull referring to Aqualung because it has become the signature sound for the band until now. Tull vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Ian Anderson, original guitarist Martin Barre, and new additions Doane Perry, Andrew Giddings and Jonathan Noyce accepted an invitation from XM satellite radio to record a live performance of the album for a small group of invited fans. Fuel Records has released this concert on CD. Anderson and the band are donating the royalties to charities serving the homeless.

For those of you who are familiar with the signature sound of Tull in Aqualung would find this CD is an excellent addition to any Tull fan's collection. Actually most of the performances are straight version of the original, but there are some new arrangements that are obvious especially to respect new musicians like Giddings' accordion part of "Mother Goose". The classics "Aqualung", "Locomotive Breath" and "Cross-eyed Mary" (my favourite) were performed really well with some improvisations from original version, especially on guitar part.

I would recommend this to those of you who have been the band's fan for a long time and wanting to hear how they perform recently. Keep on proggin'...!!!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars I know it wasn't really necessary, but it's kind of nice to hear what Jethro Tull could do with one of their most popular albums thirty four years after it was first released. Okay, I admit it, it's not really the same band, as only Ian Anderson and Martin Barre are still in the group after all this time. But three and a half decades later, and that much older, Tull is a more relaxed group, and at times it makes the album a treat.

The drawback primarily is Anderson's famous diminished voice. While he does a fair job of masking his lack of range, on such well known classics like the title piece, it's too obvious that he just can't hit the notes anymore.

The best parts are where the band stretches out. My God is nice, with an extended flute solo, that doesn't turn into God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, as JT has been playing it on recent tours. And Hymn 43 played as an Irish jig is exquisite. It didn't really need to be played again it it's more familiar form.

It's a nice album, but in no way essential.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I was pretty lucky to get this album on the local store. The seller told me it's a limited edition, and they have only few copies of it. Here we have exactly what is written in the title, a live performance of the whole Aqualung album. This is a performance in the presence of a small audience, ... (read more)

Report this review (#98690) | Posted by ShW1 | Monday, November 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I fine album with excellent production values in a live setting with the usual Ian Anderson asides in between songs that all Tull fans love. Yes, Ian's voice isn't as good as it used to be and it hurts the album overall a bit. But its such a refreshing rendition of the classic Aqualung album th ... (read more)

Report this review (#89869) | Posted by indelibo | Sunday, September 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A few months ago, I was able to see Jethro Tull in concert and received this free cd. It is a redone version of all of Aqualung, and it is done very well. The weakpoint is that Ian's voice has never been as strong since his throat problems in the 80's. However, his flute playing has improved e ... (read more)

Report this review (#62735) | Posted by | Sunday, January 1, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is pretty cool. You have to go to a Tull concert to get it, and its pretty cool. Just Aqualung live, with some otherstuff on it. They play some of the songs differntly which is pretty cool. Go see'em, you get this, and you get a great great show. They were awesome! ... (read more)

Report this review (#57357) | Posted by | Monday, November 21, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars OK. Feels weird to be the first one to review an album. Right. I've been a die-hard Tull fan for the past 25 years, and I have just decided to review all their albums for future generations to enjoy, starting with this one. I have to admit that I've never been a huge fan of the original Aqualun ... (read more)

Report this review (#48313) | Posted by | Sunday, September 25, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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